Having a Colombian boyfriend has its perks (no, not those kind of perks). After two years of dating a Colombian, I have come to love Colombian food in a sick, sick way. No really, I now like Colombian food more than lobster and those of you who know me well know that I LOVE lobster. My favorite is a plate called Bandeja Paisa, which includes: rice, beans, steak or ground beef, sweet plantains, fried egg and Chicharrón. One of the most important aspects of the Bandeja Paisa (AKA Colombian Sampler Platter) is the Frijoles Paisas (AKA Colombian Style Beans). These beans are so good that even though I hated beans my whole life, I now find great pleasure in their consumption.
If you have never tried a Colombian Sampler Platter, I suggest you get to is ASAP. I don’t know how I survived 21 years of my life without it. For now, try this recipe for Colombian Style Beans and eat them over some plain white rice. If you are feeling frisky, grill up some skirt steak, fry an egg and cut up an avocado for the side.
So I’m going to say that this recipe makes a huge batch… about 8 one cup servings. If you are making it for a bunch of people or if you just want a ton of leftovers (like me), make the recipe as is. These beans make excellent leftovers because they are actually better after a a day or two in the fridge. If you want a smaller batch, I would just cut the recipe in half and use the smaller half pound cans of beans.
One other side note: this recipe comes straight from Boo Boo’s family from Colombia and has been passed down and perfected through generations. Trust me, it’s perfection. Also, you will need a pressure cooker to make these beans. You can get one for about 40 dollars at WalMart if you don’t already have one.
- 1 1lb can of pinto beans
- 1 1lb can of red kidney beans
- 6 small tomatoes, chopped (4 go straight into the beans, save 2 for extra sauce to put on top)
- 6 green onions, sliced thin (same deal as the tomatoes; 4 for beans, 2 for extra)
- 3 tbsp of vegetable oil (2 for beans and 1 for extra sauce)
- 1/2 plantain, chopped
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Triguisar (pictured below)
You should be able to find Triguisar for pretty cheap at the grocery store, probably in the spice aisle. If you can’t get your hands on any, try to find Sazon Goya con Azafran. If all else fails, I would try mixing cumin, corn starch, and garlic powder but I can’t promise anything there…
Place the pressure cooker without the top on a burner on high heat. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and swirl around so the bottom is completely coated. When the oil is hot, add the green onions and the chopped tomatoes immediately thereafter. Mix together with a wooden spoon, adding salt to taste – about 1/8 of a teaspoon.
Turn the burner down to low/medium and gently place the top on the pressure cooker (do not turn all the way as to turn on the pressure). Leave on the low/medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes until it has turned into a sauce (15 minutes if you are doing a half recipe). This sauce is called Hogao.
Leaving the sauce or Hogao in the pot, add both cans of beans and your 1/2 chopped plaintain and mix together with a wooden spoon. Leave this mixture on low/medium with the top gently placed on top for 5 minutes. Then, stir in 1 tbsp sugar and 2 cups of water. Put on the top completely (turn to the left until the handles are aligned) to start the pressure cooking. Turn the heat to medium/high and cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of high pressure cooking, the beans are done but be careful: the content of the pot is extremely hot. At this point, set the pot aside until it is cool to the touch for safety reasons.
To make the sauce for the top of the beans, simply repeat the first steps to make the Hogao, only this time use 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 sliced green onions and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. When you are ready to serve the dish, place a spoonful on top of the beans. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro. As noted above, the beans get better overnight so I would recommend cooking the night before and leaving in the fridge for the night. See the thicker beans below, photographed the day after they were cooked.
For the full Colombian Sampler Platter, serve with rice, grilled skirt steak, fried sweet plantains, avocado, Chicharrón and a fried egg. Ah-mazing.
Do you have a family recipe for beans? Are there any other ingredients that you can think of to add to the recipe?